Your Legal Companion for Estate Planning

If you're like a lot of people, you have a nagging feeling that you need to make a will—but you haven't gotten around to it because it sounds hard or expensive or just unpleasant. (Or maybe you picked up this software because you are the rare individual who loves to plan and get organized. We encourage those tendencies.) We're here to help. With WillMaker, making a legal will doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, you can probably get it done in under an hour.

You're smart to pay attention to that nagging feeling: Almost everyone needs a will. It lets you leave your property, name a guardian for young children and eliminate uncertainty about your wishes—all of which will spare your family headaches later.

And a will isn't the only thing to think about. In addition, you may want to take steps to help your family avoid probate court proceedings after your death. And everyone should consider preparing a living will and durable powers of attorney—important documents that can help you stay in control of your own health care and financial choices while saving your family lots of hassles and heartaches, too. You can use WillMaker to prepare these legal tools, and more.

To help you get started, take WillMaker's quiz to get a list of suggested documents for your life situations. Or, go straight to the Your Documents screen to start any of WillMaker's essential estate planning documents, including a will, living trust, financial power of attorney, health care directive, final arrangements document or document for caregivers and survivors. You can start any of WillMaker's other documents from the All Documents screen.

Our carefully designed question-and-answer format makes the process as easy as it can be. Our goal is to help you over any hurdles by providing clear guidance and encouragement at every step. After you select a document to begin, we'll ask you a series of straightforward questions. Then the software uses your answers to make a legal document that's valid in your state.

If you're not sure how to answer a particular question, you'll find lots of practical and legal information within easy reach. Our on-screen help is there to guide you through questions large and small. (You'll probably be able to use WillMaker to handle your own basic estate planning, without hiring a lawyer. But we'll always alert you to situations in which you might benefit from help from a lawyer or another expert.) When you're done making a document, we'll tell you everything you need to know about how to finalize it and make it legal.

Keep in mind that you can plan your estate a little bit at a time. Start by making just one document, such as your will. When you're ready, come back to the program to make more. You can think of WillMaker as your estate planning companion, providing trustworthy legal and practical advice along the path that's best for you.

Congratulations on starting your estate planning—it's a wonderful thing to do for your loved ones. We know from long experience that putting a sound estate plan into place can bring peace and satisfaction to those who take the time to do it.

Go to www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/willmaker for answers to common questions and to learn more about WillMaker's documents.